Business and Real Estate

The business litigation unit at Porter Scott has been effectively representing business clients across a broad spectrum of matters, including real estate disputes, for well over 30 years.

The firm assists all sizes of business entities, including family owned and operated businesses, mid-sized enterprises, publicly traded companies and multi-national corporations in their disputes. Porter Scott understands that business disputes, particularly those that venture to litigation, typically sidetrack clients from their profitability objectives. The firm utilizes its expertise to permit clients to focus on actual business while the attorneys focus on the legal battle. In addition to litigation, Porter Scott’s business team provides advice and counseling on how to avoid litigation in the first instance. The business litigation unit’s areas of experience includes:

  • Complex commercial disputes
  • Fraud
  • Corporation and partnership disputes
  • Contract disputes
  • Business ownership disputes
  • Unfair competition and trade secrets
  • Land development disputes
  • Probate and trust litigation involving business and real estate
  • Real estate and financing disputes
  • Agent broker disputes
  • Contract review and enforcement
  • Commercial purchase and leasing matters
  • Homeowners association law/Calderon claims
  • Asset purchase agreements

Plaintiff Ambroselli brought an action for declaratory relief, breach of contract and enforcement of an oral trust against Anapolsky, administrator of Richard Powers’s estate.  Porter Scott’s Carl Calnero and Thomas Riordan represented Anapolsky.  The plaintiff alleged that Powers as a prosecutorial informant had wrongfully set him up to mitigate Powers’s drunk driving charges, resulting in Ambroselli serving a prison term.  Allegedly, Powers subsequently felt guilty and promised to establish a trust for the Plaintiff in order to conceal their arrangement.  In a motion for summary judgment, the Defense successfully pointed out that there was neither evidence of lawful consideration supporting an unsavory, if not illegal, contract to establish a trust, nor evidence regarding a transfer of trust property prior to Powers’s sudden and unexpected death.  The Court of Appeal’s opinion did not resolve all contended issues, but noted that even if the material facts could be disputed, the purported oral agreement violated public policy.  Since its aim was to continue to cover up Powers’s subterfuge on the criminal justice system, the agreement could never be judicially enforced.  The judgment was thus affirmed.  Ambroselli v. Anapolsky (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 26, 2017, No. C080751) 2017 WL 4249936, as modified on denial of reh’g (Oct. 24, 2017); not certified for publication.

Following a successful motion for summary judgment, plaintiff National Grange (represented by Porter Scott) won a declaratory judgment in the trial court establishing that defendant California Guild was not entitled to keep said property after effectively seceding from the Grange after its Charter was revoked. On appeal, the Guild contended that the Episcopal Church Cases precedent applied only to disputes between religious organizations not present here, thus allowing the Guild’s California corporation to keep the property despite undisputed governing documents requiring return of property following revocation of its charter.  The Third District Court of Appeal rejected the Guild’s position, and applied a neutral-principles approach requiring the courts to focus on the governing documents to which all parties had voluntarily agreed to submit. The judgment was affirmed with the Court of Appeal concluding that the plaintiff’s governing documents constituted “clear and convincing proof” to rebut any presumption that Guild corporation possessed the right to Grange property.  Grange property should thus be returned to the Grange.  The Grange was represented by Martin Jensen and Thomas Riordan in the trial court and on appeal.  National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry v. California Guild (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 30, 2017, No. C080523) 2017 WL 5899235 [published opinion].

On June 27th, 2017, Carl Calnero & Katlyn Gregg received a unanimous Defense Verdict from the jury in a bifurcated business dispute involving a long term oral agreement where the Plaintiff sued for fraud, financial elder abuse and interference with prospective economic damage.  Porter Scott recouped all costs incurred by our client.  Carl made all arguments to the jury while Katlyn argued the equitable portions of the case.

Summary judgment was granted by the United States District Court arising out of a cross-claim on an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court.  The debtor was a general contractor who alleged causes of action for negligence, equitable indemnity, and breach of fiduciary duty.  The general contractor was seeking bankruptcy relief and one of the creditors were homeowners who had paid the contractor to construct a residence.  The general contractor then wrongfully blamed the insurance broker for not procuring the right type of insurance for him.  Although the claims against the insurance broker were false, the Court agreed that the statute of limitations had run on all causes of action and judgment was entered in favor of the insurance broker.

Indemnity Contract and Workers Compensation: Prevailed on appeal on behalf of local apricot farmer following successful summary judgment against an equipment rental company from allegations arising from a deficient indemnity agreement.

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